An in-screen fingerprint scanner won’t be part of any iPhone for at least three years, according to a trusted analyst. That raises the strong possibility that Touch ID will never again be part of Apple’s flagship smartphones — despite occasional rumors to the contrary.
Apple may have abandoned the idea after a recent improvement to Face ID.
No in-screen Touch ID for iPhone in the foreseeable future
Touch ID used to be a hallmark of iPhones, but Apple began replacing it with Face ID with the launch of the 2017 iPhone X. Putting in back in would give users the option to unlock their handset with either fingerprint recognition or facial recognition.
A 2021 rumor said Cupertino was testing an in-screen fingerprint scanner. Obviously, this didn’t make it into that year’s iPhone 13. And this was followed by a January prediction that in-screen Touch ID isn’t coming to the iPhone 14, either.
And maybe not for much longer than that. On Wednesday, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from TF International Securities said via Twitter that, “the latest survey indicates new iPhones in 2023 & 2024 may not adopt under-display Touch ID.”
Kuo talks to sources in Apple’s supply chain to make generally accurate predictions about future products. He has a 73% accuracy rating on AppleTrack.
Face ID got easier to use
While Touch ID has always had fans, the pandemic brought out numerous calls to bring it back to iPhone. Facial recognition was of limited use during the pandemic with everyone wearing masks to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Apple’s response was Face ID with a mask. This feature debuted in mid-March with iOS 15.4, and gives iPhone users the option to be recognized by only the top part of their face. As Kuo says, “Face ID with a mask on iPhone is already a great biometrics solution.”
I previously predicted iPhones would support under-display fingerprint sensing/Touch ID in 2023 at the earliest. But the latest survey indicates new iPhones in 2023 & 2024 may not adopt under-display Touch ID. Face ID with a mask on iPhone is already a great biometrics solution.
— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) March 30, 2022
Looking ahead, Apple is reportedly looking at ways to build Face ID into the iPhone display, eliminating the need for a screen notch.